Lacaba’s release unexpected, Sulu vice governor says

MANILA, Philippines – Sulu Vice Governor Lady Ann Sahidulla wasn’t expecting her release. She was told that Red Cross worker Mary Jean Lacaba would be beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf if the government would fail to meet the bandits’ demand of pulling out all military and police troops from the province.

But the seemingly impossible happened. Sahidulla went up the mountains of Sulu and witnessed the release of the 37-year-old Lacaba at about 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, at the 77th day of her captivity with two other Red Cross workers Italian Eugenio Vagni and Swiss Andreas Notter.

“Akala ko di pa mari-release. Akala ko ang pinunta ko do’n was to ask an emissary to negotiate [for the hostages’ release]. Pero ang nangyari, direct na, kaya naglakas loob ako,” said Sahidulla in an interview with reporters, more than an hour after Lacaba’s release.

[I thought she would not yet be released. I thought I was there to ask an emissary to negotiate for the hostages’ release. But what happened was that it became direct, thus I took courage.]

“At least maganda ang usapan. It’s a long story at na-convince ko rin sila. Nagpasalamat din ako at bigla na lang ako pinakuha [At least the negotiation was good. It’s a long story but I was able to convince them. I was also thankful that they had me fetched],” added Sahidulla.

She said her prayers helped her a lot in convincing the bandits to release Lacaba, adding that the kidnappers already wanted good will and peace, and that they wanted to start a new life.

“Iyon ang daan para ipaalam sa bayan na kabutihan na ang gusto nila, kapayapaan na. Ito ang sabi nila, ang ipakita naming gusto na naming magpakabuti, na magbagong buhay na,” the vice governor said.

Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm  Comments Off on Lacaba’s release unexpected, Sulu vice governor says  
Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: